1968 Emil Richards & The Microtonal Blues Band – Journey To Bliss

Emil Richards (born Emilio Joseph Radocchia; September 2, 1932) is an American vibraphonist and percussionist.

Richards started playing the xylophone at age six. In high school he performed with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. He studied with Al Lepak at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, graduating in 1952. After being drafted, he belonged to an Army band in Japan and played with Toshiko Akiyoshi. He cites Lionel Hampton as his first and biggest influence on vibraphone.

In 1954 Richards moved to New York City where he played with Charles Mingus, Ed Shaughnessy, and Ed Thigpen while doing studio recordings for Perry Como, the Ray Charles Singers, and Mitchell Ayres. For about three years he was a member of a group led by George Shearing, then moved to Los Angeles and worked with Don Ellis and Paul Horn. He led his own band, the Microtonal Blues Band, and spent time with composer and inventor Harry Partch. As a sideman, he accompanied George Harrison on tour and recorded with Frank Sinatra, Frank Zappa, Doris Day, Judy Garland, Nelson Riddle, and Sarah Vaughan.

Richards worked often as a studio musician for movies and television. His credits include playing bongos on the theme song for the television program Mission Impossible. He has led a band with Joe Porcaro, and he released a solo album, The Wonderful World of Percussion


1Maharimba (Emil Richards, Jules Chaiken)2:52
2Bliss (Emil Richards)4:57
3Mantra (Emil Richards)4:29
4Enjoy, Enjoy (Emil Richards)5:51
5Journey To Bliss – Part I (Emil Richards, Barbara Gess)3:08
6Journey To Bliss – Part III (Emil Richards, Barbara Gess)4:10
7Journey To Bliss – Part III (Emil Richards, Barbara Gess)2:52
8Journey To Bliss – Part IV (Emil Richards, Barbara Gess)3:10
9Journey To Bliss – Parts V & Vi (Emil Richards, Barbara Gess)5:18



BassRay Neopolitan
DrumsJoe Porcaro
GuitarDennis Budimir
GuitarTommy Tedesco
KeyboardsDave Mackay
PercussionMark Stevens
PercussionMike Craden

Liner Notes

Producer – Bob Thiele
Narrator – Hagan Beggs

Artwork (Back Cover Painting) – Mike Craden
Design (Liner) – Joe Lebow
Liner Notes – Frank Kofsky
Photography By (Cover) – Fred Seligo